Pampanga records 2 coronavirus cases including Grab driver

PAMPANGA, Philippines (UPDATED) – Pampanga has recorded two COVID-19 cases, one of them a Grab driver.

Officials of the Jose B. Lingad Memorial General Hospital (JBLMGH), where the patients were confined, confirmed this on Thursday, March 13.

The hospital officials also said in a statement that there were 5 persons being probed for the novel coronavirus disease also confined in the hospital.

The Department of Health designated the hospital to treat possible cases of COVID-19 in Central Luzon.

"The public is advised that JBLMGH is implementing enhanced surveillance mechanisms and strict temperature and symptom monitoring to all individuals prior to entry in the hospital," said  Dr Monserrat Chichioco, JBLMGH chief.

Chichioco said the hospital has limited visits to 3 pm to 4 pm.

In a press conference on Friday, March 13, Pampanga Governor Dennis Pineda said one of the COVID-19 patients is a Grab driver.

Contact-tracing

Grab spokesperson Nicka Hosaka said on Saturday, March 14, that Grab would "be working closely with the health and local government officials to assist them in conducting the necessary contact tracing, to prevent the further spread" of the coronavirus disease.

"Given the urgency of the situation, we carefully decided to provide the needed information to Mayor Lazatin and the Local Government, so they can initiate the contact tracing," Hosaka said

 "In the event of a driver or passenger who is a possible COVID-19 case, Grab will closely follow DOH protocol and do everything we can to provide accurate information to the DOH, the lead agency for contact tracing, in a timely manner. We have a team on standby to immediately respond to and support DOH's contact tracing efforts and identify the close contacts of the infected individual," she added.

Grab would also give medical and financial support to its driver.

The company said the driver was placed under 14-day suspension as he undergoes quarantine, and that Grab will do a deep disinfection of the vehicle.

The Philippines currently has 6 recorded coronavirus deaths, with 64 cases reported. – Rappler.com